April 22, 2014
I recently read an article in eMarketer.com that dealt with sales stats in 2013, and that almost 40% of the sales forces weren’t making their numbers and it floored me. I sure wouldn’t want to be running a company based on sales of XXX and then the sales force under-delivers by that large of a difference-Yikes!
2013 wasn’t a bad year for the economy (we’ve seen a lot worse), and I can’t help but wonder what their issues were in closing the sale. One of the biggest reasons given was the sale ended in a “no decision.” What does that mean?
Here’s an interesting graphic:
It sounds to me like either the leads weren’t qualified correctly or the salesman didn’t do his homework in determining where the prospect was in the sales funnel. It also sounds like there were multiple decision makers in the process and possibly they all were not included in the sales pitch. A few other things bother me as well:
- What I can’t understand in this report is that 31% were unable to effectively communicate value to a prospect - yes, you heard me right.
- 26% had content that wasn’t aligned with the buyer
- 20% didn’t have the necessary content or resources for selling
This sounds like a great opportunity for marketing to step in and help fill the content voids they are talking about. It also begs the question of whether these results were from a traditional selling model versus that of one using social media as part of the mix.
If you had good content that was searchable on the internet, chances are the right people will find that info long before they identify themselves to you as a prospect and get a lot of their basic homework done first. You’d be able to show your expertise in a market segment so they think of you as an industry expert, which will help set you apart (value of your brand) when they finally decide to contact you. Marketing can help answer those questions ahead of time if we know the different stages of the selling cycle and what’s important to address at each level.
Am I missing the boat here or do you agree?
March 4, 2014
Most folks are familiar with mobile apps, but I think we associate them more with retail/consumer applications instead of the B-to-B world. The key to a good app is no different from any other piece of content you develop. It has to answer and be helpful to your customers. To have an app for an app’s sake doesn’t do anyone any good. You need to be customer centric.
The reasons for having an app are pretty simple:
- How many contractors do you know that don’t have a smart phone?
- Mobile represents over 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide.
- Mobile devices are on the way to surpassing PCs as the first screen for all web usage according to a study by Grant/Morgan Stanley.
eMarketer recently had a post, Mobile Apps Help Lure Customers, Spur Loyalty, that I thought had some great points that would spill over into the B-to-B world for manufacturers to consider. The survey was done by Forbes Insights to executives of companies with revenues over $250,000. Most common reasons were: customer communications, customer service and product information. No real surprises here other than the way it’s accessed and delivered.
Apps can definitely play a role well beyond branding to both support existing customers, but to help potentials through the buying cycle. Potential apps that you might consider would be:
- Product information
- Installation and troubleshooting instructions videos
- Productivity tools
- Competitive cross reference charts
- Ability to check current inventory levels
- Distributor locator with direct links
These are only a few ideas. The point is, with mobile being the fastest growing segment, you need to have a presence there. Make sure your interfaces are user friendly and make sure they fall within the requirement of the app stores.
If you like this post, you might want to read:
Do You Have a Mobile App? Are You Promoting it?
Things to Consider When Using Mobile to Reach the Professional Tradesman.
January 15, 2014
I know for most of us, 2013 was a positive experience. Most of our clients and the folks I talk to in the industry had good growth this past year and are expecting the same this year.
According to a recent article in eMarketer.com, 80% of small business are forecasting a better 2014. Here’s what they are saying they will be concentrating on in 2014.
While the small business owners are optimistic about 2014, economic uncertainty and government policies are still on their mind.
So what is your outlook for the new year and where are your challenges? Do any of them match up with what the survey indicates?
September 18, 2012
Why, you ask, should you be concerned about optimizing your emails? How about because one-third of emails worldwide are opened on mobile!
According to a post on eMarketer, email open rates in North America are on the rise. There is no doubt that email is still relevant, but the challenge is cutting through over-stuffed in boxes.
With over 36% of emails worldwide being opened on mobile, only about 22% according to StrongMail have mobilized templates.
Here are some things to consider to ensure your emails are being read:
- reduce length of text
- increase font size
- narrow template
- use fewer calls to action
- design to be more touch friendly
June 27, 2012
It should come as no surprise to anyone that smartphones and tablets are changing the way we all communicate and do business. This couldn’t be more true, especially for small businesses like contractors. These guys are “time starved” and are not sitting behind a computer all day. They are out taking care of business.
A recent survey by Cargo and Inc. Magazine in emarketer.com showed the vast majority (915) of U.S. small companies place importance on wireless communications and smartphones for their businesses. Tablets were not far behind at (64%). You can certainly bet that contractors of all kinds are on the top of this list.
So, if you’re not considering mobile as a key way to communicate with those professional tradesman, you should be.
Here’s a simple tip to get started: Adapt your mobile web presence for Apple OS-based devices (iPads make up 79% followed by Android devices at 39%).
June 19, 2012
We’ve talked a lot about mobile and what it means to both manufacturers and distributors when trying to reach the professional tradesmen. For those who are still on the fence about mobile and where it’s going, here is some useful info.
I recently read a few articles in emarketer.com on mobile that brought up several good points. emarketer.com interviewed Geoff Robertson from Grainger on how they are using mobile in their sales process.
Here are some highlights:
- Over the past 12 months, Grainger has seen a 400% increase in mobile activity.
- Beyond the location and availability issues, Grainger is trying to help companies streamline their workflow by giving those who are requesting the parts to list them, and then those responsible for purchasing can sign off all using mobile technology.
- Over 50% of their users feel comfortable ordering over mobile devices.
- Google has an entirely separate algorithm for mobile device searches.
- Google reported that 1 in 7 searches are now done on mobile devices.
If you don’t have a mobile strategy in place, it should get on your radar screen soon or you’ll be missing lots of opportunities.
If you like this post, you might want to read:
Are You Targeting Emails for Your Mobile Marketing?
Why a Mobile Strategy is so Important to Reach the Professional Tradesmen
What’s Your Mobile Media Strategy for 2012?